7 Best Foods to Eat for Good Sleep.If you want to get a good night’s sleep, what you eat can make or break it. Luckily, there’s research that shows certain foods may help you drift off to dreamland.
Experts say the best snacks are carbohydrate-rich, which boost levels of tryptophan in the body. Choose whole-grain crackers, toast or oatmeal.
- Fatty fish
Getting enough sleep is vital for good health, yet many of us struggle to get a restful night’s sleep. Experts agree that the optimal amount of sleep for adults is seven to eight hours, and children need about nine to 10 hours.
However, poor sleep quality is associated with various health issues, such as obesity and heart disease. Moreover, it may also be linked to reduced mental function and memory.
It’s been shown that eating more oily fish, especially salmon, can improve your sleep quality. In fact, one study found that adult males who ate 300 g of Atlantic salmon three times per week for six months fell asleep faster and improved their daily functioning.
In addition, fish is a rich source of vitamin D, which is known to improve biological mechanisms involved in self-regulation. Similarly, fatty fish is a major dietary source of marine omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain and cardiovascular health.
In addition, a recent study published in Scientific Reports suggests that regular fish consumption is related to high sleep quality among Chinese schoolchildren. Another study found that adults who ate 300 g of Atlantic salmon per day for six months slept more quickly and better functioned during the day than those who ate chicken, beef or pork with similar nutritional value.
Thanksgiving is a time of great joy, but it can also leave you feeling sleepy. This is usually blamed on turkey, which contains a substance called tryptophan.
The amino acid tryptophan is converted into serotonin and melatonin, which are the body’s natural sleep hormones. During sleep, serotonin helps control your mood and melatonin regulates your sleeping cycle.
This is why a diet rich in tryptophan can help promote healthy sleep. It’s also a good idea to take a tryptophan supplement if you don’t consume enough of this amino acid on a daily basis.
According to Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, Turkey is a great source of L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid that supports a healthy mood and a restful sleep. It is also an excellent source of B vitamins, protein and selenium.
But even though Turkey is a good source of tryptophan, it doesn’t contain as much as chicken or other meats. Other foods, like nuts and cheeses, may have higher levels of this amino acid, and they can help boost your brain’s tryptophan levels.
This is why it’s so important to eat a variety of healthy foods during the holidays. That includes not only turkey but also high-fiber vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains.
Bananas are a popular bedtime snack and many studies have shown that they can help you get a better night’s sleep. They are rich in nutrients like tryptophan, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and carbs that can improve your sleep quality.
The amino acid tryptophan found in bananas is a precursor to the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin, which are the chemicals that regulate your sleep-wake cycle. This nutrient helps you fall asleep quickly and stay that way, so eating bananas before bed can be an effective strategy to help you get the rest you need.
Additionally, bananas are a source of fiber. This nutrient promotes regularity, keeps you feeling full, and can reduce your appetite, helping you control your weight. It also has a positive effect on blood sugar levels, which may promote sleep.
Another benefit of bananas is that they contain potassium, which can prevent muscle cramps and spasms while you sleep. These cramps can be highly uncomfortable and difficult to sleep through.
In addition, a diet high in potassium can help lower your blood pressure, which is linked to increased stress and insomnia. And the magnesium found in bananas can help relax your body and mind, helping you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.
Whether you’re eating them before bed or during the day, walnuts are an excellent source of several nutrients that help your body sleep more soundly. For instance, walnuts are a good source of magnesium and tryptophan, which are both essential amino acids that can help you fall asleep.
Also, they contain melatonin, which helps you regulate your internal body clock and promotes sleep. In addition, they are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help you feel calm and relaxed.
Walnuts can also help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Additionally, they can help you fight inflammation and oxidative stress.
In one study, a group of men and women who ate two ounces of walnuts per day for six weeks had lower blood pressure than those who didn’t eat any nuts. This effect was similar to that of taking a vitamin D supplement or eating fatty fish.
Walnuts are also a good source of melatonin and tryptophan, which can help you fall asleep more easily. In addition, they are a good antioxidant source and can boost your immune system. They can be eaten as a snack or mixed into your favorite meals.
A 2014 study found that people who ate fatty fish three times a week for 6 months fell asleep more quickly and performed better during the day. This is thought to be a result of the high amounts of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids in these fish.
Fatty fish include sardines, salmon, mackerel, and herring, which are rich in vitamin D, as well as EPA+DHA (the omega-3 fatty acid commonly referred to as “healthy fats”). This nutrient helps to regulate serotonin, a chemical that is crucial for maintaining a fixed sleep/wake cycle.
Many types of fish also contain tryptophan, which can help to relax the body and promote a more restful sleep. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and arugula are also good sources of this nutrient, as well as calcium.
Nuts are another good source of sleep-inducing nutrients, including melatonin. These crunchy nuts can be a great snack before bedtime, especially almonds and walnuts, which are also high in protein and magnesium.
There’s no shortage of foods and drinks that claim to aid sleep, but the evidence is largely mixed. Generally, it’s best to stick to the basics of a healthy diet and avoid any food or beverage that can disrupt your sleep patterns.
- White rice
Eating a bowl of white rice before bed can help you fall asleep easier. According to nutritionist and registered dietitian Sarah Richards, it contains carbohydrates, which are believed to promote a feeling of fullness and help you fall asleep quickly.
However, she advises that eating white rice before bed should be limited to a one-cup serving. It also contains a high glycemic index, which is believed to reduce how long it takes you to fall asleep.
In addition, rice is often enriched with key vitamins and minerals that are commonly missing from our diets. These include phosphorus, calcium and iron, which are all essential for maintaining healthy bones and cells.
Chou says that white rice is also an excellent source of B vitamins, which are known to support brain health and decrease inflammation in the body. They’re also important for energy production, DNA synthesis and muscle function.
As a result, eating white rice is an excellent way to fill up on nutrients while reducing the number of calories you consume. It’s also easy on the digestive system, so it’s an ideal option for people who have a hard time digesting other foods or are recovering from illness.
Almonds are a nut, but they’re not actually nuts because they’re seeds enclosed inside fleshy fruits (aka drupes). They come from the Prunus dulcis tree (Rosaceae), a species native to the Mediterranean.
These delicious little treats are rich in magnesium, a mineral that promotes muscle relaxation and sleep, and are also an excellent source of vitamin B6. In fact, it’s been found that vitamin B6 may help regulate the release of melatonin, which is the hormone that signals your body to prepare for bedtime.
They’re also high in soluble fiber, which helps keep blood sugar steady. That’s important because too many spikes in blood sugar can make you feel groggy and increase your risk of diabetes, says Charmaine Jones, M.S., R.D.N., L.D.N.
But be sure to choose almonds that aren’t highly processed, such as those sold in pre-shelled or roasted forms. Roasting often turns almonds’ natural oils rancid, which isn’t good for your health. If you’re concerned about a nut allergy, talk to your doctor before snacking on this nutty treat.